Gratitude

I am so blessed, in so many ways. It’s a bit overwhelming just thinking about it. Every morning when I wake up, I take a few minutes to list, out loud, the things in my life that I’m grateful for. Sometimes I laugh while I’m doing it, because it amazes me to think about how much happiness is in my life…friends, family, my comfortable blue chair, the crazy loud mockingbird singing outside my window. Sometimes I cry, because I realize I’m saying thankyou for the painful things too…heartache, betrayal, divorce, loss, grief, and the strength that those things bring in their wake.

I get to do what I love for a living.

I get to hold my joy and my pain in my hands, and turn it around, and look at it from every angle, and then create something beautiful out of it.

I get to sit in a room to write a song with someone I’ve never met before, and cut through to the heart of who we are and what life means to us in a single afternoon.

I get to write and perform with artists I admire who have shaped my own life with their work.

I get to share my songs with audiences of people who cry tears that echo my own.

When I wonder how I will pay the bills, a check somehow always arrives in the mailbox.

When one of my songs is turned down by an artist or dropped from a record yet again, and the frustration of this business pulls me down into the dark, I always somehow get a message from someone whose life has been touched by my music, and it pulls me up into the sunlight again.

When I start to feel alone living 800 miles from the family and home that I love, one of my girlfriends makes me laugh until my belly hurts.

When I wonder sometimes if the sacrifices I’ve made to do this for a living are too great…if I would have been better off with less loneliness – paying fewer dues, crying fewer tears, wearing fewer scars…I hear an exquisitely crafted song on the radio…I see the look in a friend’s eyes when they’re performing their music…I sing a piece of my past into a beat-up, smoky microphone…I hear a new idea whisper in my ear…and the tears and the scars become the stained glass that makes the light that much more beautiful.

Life is good. Really, really good.

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